BOOKS THAT HELP – DEMENTIA/ALZHEIMER’S

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I REMEMEMBER (Jeanne Willis, Raquel Catalina)

The Most Important Things Are Never Forgotten.

I Remember (Nosy Crow, 2022) is a timely and heartfelt picture book about the intergenerational friendship between George and his Granny, Kathleen. Kathleen is quite forgetful. Sometimes, she can’t even remember George’s name. But George doesn’t mind. Together they play in the garden, dance, and share chocolate biscuits. Granny might not always remember the little things, but George knows she loves him more than words can say.

This story, which reads like an intimate conversation between the two characters, is an accurate look at how dementia can affect a loved one. It’s also a celebration of the unforgettable love between a grandparent and grandchild, proving that even though the mind can sometimes forget, the heart will always remember. Raquel’s illustrations draw us into the tender moments, bringing the relationship to life with tenderness and warmth. This is a special book to help little ones understand dementia.


THE FORGETTERY (Rachel Ip, Laura Hughes)

In Rachel Ip and Laura Hughes’ The Forgettery (Farshore, 2021) Amelia and her granny go for a wander in the woods when they stumble upon the Forgettery – a magical place where lost memories are stored. The lyrical text takes the reader on a real adventure as the characters discover a magnificent treehouse with ladders, door, a hot air balloon and memory keepers who look after lost things. Some memories are paper-thin like butterflies. All Granny’s lost things are there, who is living with significant memory loss, but so are Amelia’s, strengthening their relationship and the intergenerational connection between them.

Rachel’s poetic storytelling is complimented beautifully by Laura’s wistful artwork. A tender tale about where lost memories go that could initiate discussions around memory loss, including dementia and Alzheimer’s for very young children.


THE TIDE (Clare Helen Welsh, Ashling Lindsay)

Grandad doesn’t remember things like he used to. But I love him as much as I always have. And I know that he loves me.

The Tide (Little Tiger Press, 2019) is an important and powerful story about families, laughter, and how we can help a loved one with dementia live well. Ashling’s illustrations are atmospheric and full of love and warmth, creating a thoughtful and reassuring picture book that is perfect for children who have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

“What I adore about The Tide most of all is that it celebrates Grandad – truly celebrates who he is… [It] conveys a wonderfully clear description of dementia – put into language that can be understood by all. It celebrates families, and their love and support for one another.” — My Book Corner


GRANDMA (Jessica Shepherd)

Full of touching moments, Grandma (Child’s Play, 2014) is a picture book story about a child and their grandma, following Grandma as she moves to a ‘special home’ where she will get all the care she needs. It’s not a walk in the park. Grandma has dementia and that is sometimes upsetting, but the child knows they have friends and family who will look after them, and even when Grandma has bad days, she is still the best grandma in the world.

This is a well-observed and child-like look at dementia. What is especially lovely is the double page map of Grandma’s new home, which looks and smells different, that resembles a child’s drawing. In fact, all of Jessica’s illustrations have a child-like innocence to them, adding to the child centred approach.

At the back of the book are some helpful facts about dementia and getting older, all written in a way that children can access and process. The child reader feels front and centre throughout, which is a big strength of this book, making it a reassuring and important read at a time when they might be struggling.

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